Is this $1 billion cricket deal all it's cracked up to be?

14 April, 2018, 13:50 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Is this $1 billion cricket deal all it's cracked up to be?

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland claimed this would not be an issue and that the deal represents a boost to the exposure of the sport on free-to-air television.

Cricket Australia says the deal is worth nearly $1.2 billion over six years.

The deal, which includes broadcast rights for global cricket matches, one day tests and the Big Bash League, comes after weeks of negotiations between Cricket Australia and broadcasters.

Nine paid Cricket Australia $500 million in the last rights deal but was caught napping when Channel Ten's secured the BBL rights in 2013 when it agreed to pay $20 million per year.

But the Seven Network and Fox Sports will broadcast the Australian summer of cricket for the next six years, after signing a deal with Cricket Australia worth $1.182bn (£646m).

In total, about 80 per cent of all worldwide cricket will still be available via free-to-air, with CA still trumpeting more cricket content will be available on commercial networks than ever before.

"We wish Cricket Australia and its new broadcast partners well for the future success of the game".

Cricket Australia will continue to deliver broadcast-quality streaming of matches not broadcast by the two networks including global tour matches, non-broadcast JLT One-Day Cup and JLT Sheffield Shield matches, all available through cricket.com.au and the CA Live Pass. Fans will also still be able to access all the highlights they have come to enjoy through cricket.com.au and Cricket Australia Live.

"We've obviously got some rebuilding to do, but it is something that we've spoken to both Fox and Seven about", Sutherland told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

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"We have nothing but gratitude and respect for Nine and Ten - and sincerely thank them for their contribution to our sport".

The new deal starts along with the 2018/2019 season. At the same time, we invested heavily in the Women's Big Bash League, broadcasting matches in prime time for the first time and raising its profile significantly.

More importantly, the $60 million will be less than the $80 million that Nine was paying Cricket Australia. If more elite content is accessible to fans be it on TV or through their mobile devices, we're helping tap into new audiences to attract them to the sport.

"I am excited about having Australia's only truly national game back on Seven", Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes said.

Concerns have already been raised regarding the shorter forms of the game going behind a paywall as both are included in the Federal Government's anti-siphoning list, requiring they be available on free-to-air television.

Seven Network as part of the deal will show men's Tests, women's internationals, 43 BBL games, 23 WBBL games, AB & BC Medal Night. We know Australians love and respect cricket and so do we.

AdNews will keep track of cricket rights develops as they unfold today.

Another interesting sub plot will be to see the impact reducing the number of Big Bash League games on FTA television could have BBL attendances, which is among the top 10 most attended sports competitions in the world.

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